Andy Lecompte may just be one of the most well known names in the hair world. Having followed Madonna around the world on tour for over 10 years, cut Miley Cyrus’ iconic short locks, and created Nicole Richie’s candidly haircut, Andy is not afraid to take risks and create bold, striking, and beautiful looks on his clients. Now with one of Los Angeles’ most famed salons, Andy has created a team of incredible stylists that live up to his name. He was kind enough to talk to Mane Addicts about his journey through his career and give some amazing advice to new stylists.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I got my first taste of the hair world working at my sister’s salon at age 10 during my spring break. I immediately felt so comfortable in that environment which confirmed to me that I wanted to follow in my sisters steps and start beauty college as soon as I could at 16. And I did.. It was my passion and obsession from the age of 13. I worked there as much as I could until I was 17 then landed the opportunity of a lifetime as a stylist at the star studded Prive salon in LA. This was the place that took my career in the direction of Celebrity hairstyling.
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
One of my greatest challenges was opening the Andy Lecompte Salon. I knew it was going to be tough after shadowing my sister while she ran hers, but nothing could have prepared me for how much work it would actually take…
I wrote a business plan for god sakes…
This is shocking because I basically stopped conventional school in the 10th grade
But planning what you want, you have no idea how fast your budget can double and how long it will take the city to approve permits.
You think it would be simple, but something I always say.. “Easy is boring – nothing is greater then reaping the rewards when you overcome challenges.” Challenges allow you to appreciate everything you put into it..
I’m also blessed with the most amazing business partner [Leanne Citrone]. We have such great business chemistry together. Both of us have very different business ways, but we share the same vision and this is why I believe our business has grown and become such a special place…
Who are some role models who have inspired you?
I have so many….
#1 Madonna, no one works harder than her and her attention to detail is exquisite. She is someone I admire and have learned so much from working with her the past 12 years. She continues to push me and grow as an artist. I love collaborating with her and her projects constantly inspire me.
As far as hair heroes, there are so many that I admire and look up to, my list goes on and on.
I love the work of Oribe and Garren. I have always looked up to their work and how their career has evolved and continues to dominate the way of fashion and hair today.
Serge Normant, Chris McMillan, Sally Hershberger, and the late John Shahag all as brilliant in the salon and on location. I admire all of them for their abilities to create hair trends that women desire and covet.
Luigi Murenu and Orlando Pita- I mean, do I need to say anything else…
Robert Vetica, Peter Savic and Renato Campora. They are are wizards from their work on set to the red carpet- you can’t touch talent and vision like that. Red carpet and runway are 2 very different animals to master and to tame both is a magical gift.
I also need to give great tribute to the master creative works of Odile Gilbert, Julian Dys, Guido Palau, and Eugene Soulieman for the endless creative styling. They can turn anything from nature and life into a hair creation. They are brilliant.
I had the great pleasure of working with Julian on a wig project with Madonna. He taught me how to work with wigs and how to make any kind of wig work.
I also can’t leave off the list the talents that work in my salon:
From Gregory Russell, Jen Atkin, Christina Rocha, Angelo, Scott Cunha, Jen Blanchard, Liz Devin, Anthony French, Mischelle Navar, Mara Roszak, Dax Sarmiento, Nicole Wood, Calista Sanderson, and Leanne Citrone. They all inspire my work daily and I’m blessed to have such a creative team of artists who all have individual talents that make my salon one of the best in the world…I truly believe in each and every one of them.
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
I’m most known for bangs, bobs, waves and natural looking curls. Often it’s said that I have a specialty for designing a look that is flattering for ones face shape. Though I have no particular rules about face shapes, I believe you can customize anything for anyone. My cuts that are most signature are soft, invisible layers that grow out beautifully.
Which hair products or tools are always in your kit?
- Harry Josh’s blowdryer
- Wella Luxe Oil
- Wella Elements Leave In Conditioning Spray
- Wella Stay Essential Finishing Spray
- Sheila Stotts Detangling Brush
- My favorite tool from R session tools it’s like a mini boar brissle toothbrush/rat tail
- YS Parks Wide Tooth Comb
- YS ParkS Hairpins
- Fhi Platform Iron
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Hmmm 10 years ago… 10 years ago I had already done my first Madonna tour!
I don’t know if I would do anything different other than hire my business manager sooner
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? What advice would you give to new stylists?
The best thing I learned is that there is plenty of business for everyone. And clients come and they go. You’re not the first and you won’t be the last to do someone’s hair. You don’t own your clients hair. They do. The best you can do is always do your best. To stay current and challenge yourself by exercising your creativity.
You also don’t know everything. The moment you stop yourself from learning is the moment you stop yourself from growing as artist.
Stay curious: explore art, film, fashion, and travel. Explore not just what you know. Experience all walks and types of life. This will inspire your craft in ways you can’t imagine.
What is the next chapter for you?
At the moment I’m in the talks of giving the Andy Lecompte Salon a mild update in design. We would love to expand if only we could get some additional square footage.
I’m gearing up to do some promo work for Madonna’s New album Rebel Heart that I’m super excited about im always so inspired working with her. And later in the year a possible tour.
I would also love to open a Andy Lecompte salon on the east coast.. But that’s a much larger project. I will have to get through this year of Rebel Heart before I could begin to think about that project
How would you describe your beauty and hair philosophy?
I don’t believe in following trends, I believe in following moods and what looks best on you.
When you follow a look that suits you and your mood you become a trendsetter not just a follower. When you find looks that work for you and and a style that suits your vibe. Your entire look comes together.
Don’t forget to follow @andylecompte for more #manespiration.